Green Tractor Talk banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

8,193 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Let's use this thread to talk about our snow removal experiences, whether it's plowing, blowing snow or using your new pusher. Share just the fun you are having or if you are having troubles or questions, throw those out so others can help, as well so we can all learn.

What works for you, issues you would like input from other's about, whatever with your snow removal. While this is in the SCUT section, it doesn't mean we can't hear from those with Garden tractors as well.

I have been putting on a real "Deep Snow Plowing clinic", I hope my Go Pro camera videos are working and I can edit and download them when I have time. I have had snow flying over the hood and cab, whiting everything out when plowing drifts. Must make for some great video's, I just haven't had time to look at them yet......

The last few days have been crazy, but fun.....
I had been plowing between 6 and 8 hours each day since last Friday. Good thing I write the plow events down as its becoming a blur. Starting yesterday, that jumped to nearly 13 hours just yesterday and another 5 hours already this AM.......I Went out at just before 2am to start today.

I Plowed between 18" and 22" yesterday and last night. Had one stretch where it snowed more than 4" an hour........Couldn't keep up with the snow, but no one could. This morning, I Had another 6" to 8" of new snow and drifts this morning, of all different heights due to the piles now along the drives and the wind coming from west and north west. This is some of the largest volume of snow I have plowed in some time and so far, the deepest snow and largest drifts I have plowed with my 1025r and the custom made plow. It has handled it perfectly.

Record number of Driveways plowed in the shortest time (for me).
I plowed all the driveways I handle for neighbors a total of 3 times EACH yesterday and one of the 4 times due to drifting. That's the equivalent of 67 driveways in one 18 hour period or even more radical, 89 driveways in one 24 hours period......Tough to sit that long, fortunately, I have about 4 driveways where I get out and shovel some steps for the people and all driveways with steep hills, I always spread snow melt. THAT has been the key to handling 2' plus drifts when plowing uphill.

Some Things I consider essential "Rules" for making this snow removal work smoother....
#1. - Number One rule for a storm like this is try to keep working the snow as it is falling. Don't wait until its done snowing or you can be in real trouble, real quick. How does GTT member Colony Park eat a giant sandwich? Yep, one bite at a time......Just ask him.....:laugh:

#2.- Number two is often overlooked, the snow from road plows, etc. increases in density and weight every time it is "rolled off the plow" and the same is true with the snow you are plowing, pushing or running through your blower. So if you wait until the storm is over, you are making your project much more difficult to handle. I always push the "road snow" off to the sides of the driveway and avoid pushing it too far as it is much heavier and more dense.

And in my case with this storm, we are forecast to get another 18" to as much as 3' more before this ends. No way anything can handle 4 and 5 feet of snow without it being a massive project. Plus, I am clearing the drives of others and despite the Snow Warnings and orders for people to stay off the roads, they just keep going out because "they have to". So they won't wait until it's over and they will get stuck and I don't want to deal will all of that.

#3. - Rule Number three, for lots of snow forecast and temps which started yesterday at 20, was up to 34 degrees for 2 hours yesterday afternoon and down below 20 degrees by midnight, Make sure to spread snow melt product after you plow each time, to prevent ice forming on the cleared pavement. If you get ice under the snow, it's so much tougher to deal with the snow, especially on inclines.

If I hadn't pre-treated the driveways with inclines with snow melt, I would have likely had traction issues as I have to push the snow UP those driveways. I really need to take some pictures today of the how i am stacking the snow because I get questions all the time about how to deal with plowing deep snow. Really, it's like playing 9 ball in pool, you are always planning your shots three and four steps ahead. Also, the reason I am able to stack the snow where and like I do is because of the rubber plow edge, I can push onto the lawns and not damage a thing.

I will take pictures later next time I am out plowing, which will likely be early afternoon at this rate. I have been so busy, I haven't even thought of it till now.....I promise. Hopefully I can get the video downloaded and put up soon as well.....:good2:

Everything is closed, even some banks and credit unions sent their people home at noon yesterday. County offices and court closed at noon also, my buddy the new judge went 4 wheeling in his yard and was VERY LUCKY he didn't get stuck, but he does have a Dodge quad cab 4x4. He did it early when the 4" per hour was starting so he likely only had 10" to 12" in the yard at the time. Not now, he has 2' to 3' and drifts of 4' and 5' feet as of this morning. He missed a curve backing up and ended up way off the driveway, real quickly. Everything is white and blowing and while I mark the driveways, some of the drifts and piles are covering the driveway markers now.

He was coming home yesterday early after noon as the courts and all state and county buildings closed at 1pm yesterday and he flagged me down to tell me about his morning adventure and laughing, which is good as when I saw the tracks in his yard, I feared he may have gotten stuck but he didn't. I was plowing his drive for the 3rd time in 8 hours when he came home. He has the WORST drive I plow for drifting issues, that driveway always has been because of it's N/S orientation and an open field for 800 feet immediately west of his yard.

He also was thanking me for doing a 'Great Job plowing", which is nice to hear people notice the hard work.....He had drifts of between 2 and 3 feet in his driveway yesterday between plowing at 7am and then at just after noon. Those drifts came Between 8am and noon was when it was snowing 4" plus per hour plus the wind was strong from the west. Visibility was very poor, glad I have all my flashing and revolving safety lights so other hopefully see me.

This home has one of those drives that is like an "S" straightened a bit. Way too many curves, and he missed one backing out and pretty soon, he was 50 feet west of the driveway. I showed him where he missed hitting his well by less than 1 foot. THAT would have been expensive and a real tough fix in this weather. Told him "I recommended he keep it on the driveway". He laughed and agreed......

#4. - Number four rule for plowing and dealing with deep snow with a blade or pusher, Push it DOWN WIND anytime you can. Also, you can use the banks to create a "snow fence", but it has to be pushed into the wind and at least 20 feet from where you want the drifts which form behind the "snow fence piles" you push into the wind.

In extreme cases, like his driveway, I piles snow on both sides as there is simply so much to deal with.......just leave lots of room for the drifts which will form immediately adjacent to the snow piles.

#5.- Also, always remember drifts are much more densely packed than regular snow so plan accordingly when pushing them........They won't slam you to a stop like a frozen pile will, but they have to be pushed carefully or you can get stuck. Push back with the blade up about 6", them back up and push again, pushing the rest with the blade up about 1" off the lawn to avoid damage/ Even though the rubber plow edge generally won't tear up the lawn if the down pressure is not excessive, it's a good habit to have to lift the plow slightly as you leave the driveway surface.

#6. Important Deep Snow Rule number 6, try and make your first push into the lawn by keeping your rear wheels on the drive way surface at the end of your push. If the ground is frozen, then you can make subsequent pushes and get further and further off the driveway. But ALWAYS make the first push off the driveway by keeping your rear wheels where you can get traction. Otherwise carry a shovel and be prepared to use it. (I have never gotten stuck pushing off the drive, I just knocked on wood as I typed this..:laugh:..)

Also, if the ground isn't frozen, avoid pushing off the driveway even with the front wheels until the ground does freeze or you can get stuck and make a mess of the lawn and your tractor.

Other new neighbor wasn't as lucky and drove her van way off in the ditch. She had it tipped way up on the passenger side. Not sure how she got home but when I saw the flashing hazards, I drove down to check to make sure she wasn't trapped in the van. She must have struggled to get the drivers door open by herself. Right side was buried in the snow, couldn't see the entire right side of the van from the hood center was under a drift in the ditch She was "wrecker stuck" and with weather like this, you can wait hours for a wrecker. One finally came last night and extracted her van at about 11pm last night.

I plowed once in November, twice in December and now 14 times in January and I didn't plow more than twice the first 10 days.....At this rate, I will likely plow as many as 4 or 5 more times before the 31st is over.

It's nice to know most people appreciate the hard work as I had one call me when I was plowing and wanted to bring me out some Hot cocoa, I thanked her but explained I can't hang onto it and really didn't have time to stop....Another offered to give me a bottle of Absolute to "keep me warm", while I appreciate the gesture, that's the last thing I need when plowing (plus I don't drink)...

I have some real steep drives, side hills to plow on and one driveway, where I push all the snow is a 12 to 14 foot straight drop off a terraced wall and the only thing which keeps me from going over is one row of landscape wall blocks, about 6'' tall. I push all the snow to the ledge and lift the blade and OVER the snow goes. Don't want to approach that too quickly or catch the backside of the blade on the blocks, it would be a end over end for the tractor and likely be the end for me and the machine.......Maybe I should have added a "Hazard Premium" on the driveway plow price.....:laugh::lol: It is cool to have 3 feet of snow in front of the blade and the moment I life the plow at the wall, it all just disappears over the wall and back to push more. Solves the stacking problem. Won't that be something when my pile over the cliff gets so tall I can't push more snow over the "cliff.":hide: Doubt it will happen.....

#7.- Special rule number 7 with very deep or even heavy snow is you can steer your tractor left and right with angling the blade while pushing. I do this across my back yard when plowing to get to the bird feeders. As the volume of snow builds in front of the plow, it will control the vehicle direction, so use it to your advantage by angling the plow to alter your forward direction. It actually works and you can use the back and forth to left and right to end up with a straight push across or through very deep snow......

Practice this before you really need it as it's very odd to angle full left, then full right while full speed forward. If the snow is deep enough or heavy enough, this will work.

But also a warning, this is a GREAT WAY to get stuck if you pause in your turns or stop to change the blade angle. I need to video this as well as it's pretty cool in the right conditions. I will take a picture of the path I plowed this AM doing this across the back yard......

Storms like This is why I like to keep 40 to 50 gallons of diesel in the shed....
I have now wiped out 20 gallons of diesel in the past 5 days plowing. Still have another 32 gallons on hand. I always fill the tractor when I finish so it's ready to go again the next time. Plus that way I can hang my coat in the cab and not have to get out to fill it, so I can avoid putting the coat on and off.......

I have got snow piles 6' and even 8' tall in many places. I have piles pushed off in "V" shapes from every driveway. Not running out of places yet, but if the forecast of another 2' to 4' happens, I likely will have to put the loader on and stack some piles in some places.

Well, I wanted weather and just like the Old Farmer's Alamanc said, the winter would start with snow, then warm and be mild until mid to late January turn very cold and snowy and remain that way for as many as 8 weeks or more. So far they are pretty darn close........

I enjoy plowing snow when everything is working like it should and I can get some rest. Even when its hectic like now, I still don't mind it. Plus, this has really been :gizmo: with this it helps with the pocket money for tractor goodies and toys. :hide:

So, please, share your plowing / pushing / snow blowing experiences with us. Even if you are having issues, let's see if the experience of some can help others make the event more enjoyable.

Premium Member
1,652 Posts
They say the devil is In the details Mr Book writer:laugh:

1,339 Posts
Sulley, so forgive my ignorance, but from what I read, you plowed driveways multiple times a day, as you have to because you plow vs. blow.
Not knowing your client base, maybe this is necessary or what they want.
However, me personally, if I were paying per plowing, and my drive was plowed multiple times through the day when I was not home, it would seem wasteful.
Bad snow here, I clear the drive before going to work, and when I get home. There is no need to clear it more than that. This is what I like and what my neighbors desire.

Maybe I'm missing something though? :dunno:

I really enjoy moving snow most of the time myself, but sometimes conditions just flat suck.
Sunday we had temps in the high 30s, so everything was a slushy mess, with a nice base of glare ice on all surfaces.
Used the rear blade to clear most of the drive and then blew the ridge away so there is no buildup.

I'd much prefer getting 10" of snow at once vs. dealing with the rain and ice.
Now, we are in the deep freeze, -14* ambient, with wind chills approaching -50*. Too cold to snow!

54 Posts
I started plowing 50 years ago with a 8n ford with a massey ferguson bulldozer blade that was only angle to the right, bent the arms going back to the rear axle hitting a concrete wall, this was lifted by cables that ran back to the 3 pt arms, plowed a lot of snow with that rig, also had a ford 120 garden tractor with a snow thrower and later moved up to a Coop E3 with a shwartz loader and a snow bucket that slid over the manure tines, (trip bucket) those where the days, I remember milk trucks that hauled cans having V plows with a hyd pump in the cab that they would pump to lift the plow, now I sit in a heated cab with a stereo wearing jeans and a t shirt, I have around 70 driveways that I plow, one man operation with 2 tractors, 2017 1025r,cozycab,54 blower and a 48 box blade I use this for sidewalks and a backup to a 2012 3320, 300cx loader with a 5000 series bucket, the 1025r replaced a 4110 with a JoDale Perry cab, kept the blower and is now on the 1025r, the 4110 was the only tractor for about 13 years, then purchased a 3320 and fell in love with the factory cab and the comfort of a bigger tractor, but I needed a sidewalk tractor, sold the 4110 and pickup the 1025r and put the cozy cab on, very impressed with this rig, this is the first winter with it, I would like to get a blade for this rig, just to try one, (take me back to the 8n days) I do enjoy the plowing, when you have good comfortable equipment its does make it a whole lot easier.

Premium Member
983 Posts
Model 317 Did the Job

For 29 years, I owned a model 314. I believe this was in the garden tractor class. It did not weigh much. Only one hydraulic port, sharing blade lift with the mower lift. Angling the blade was manual. With chains and rear ballast, most of the time it was adequate. When the snow was wet and heavy and deep, it was in over its head. Still, it was all I had. The dealer recommended that I eat more meat and potatoes to compensate for the light weight tractor.

I can remember some snows where I would attack a deep drift with the blade angled and the tractor would just move sideways. The snow would not move at all. To clear these snows, I would set the blade to no angle and drive fast into the drift, packing the snow into an ice block. I would then back up, lift the blade, drive up to the block, lower the blade and chop it off, then drag it back and push it off somewhere. Then you just repeat this process over and over. You gain about a foot or two with each step. I can remember taking 6 hours to clear my drive and a neighbor's. That little tractor never gave up.

I sold that 314 four years ago when I got my 1025R. With the added weight, the four wheel drive, and a snow blower, the 1025r has yet to be intimidated by a difficult snow. That 314 is 41 years old today, and I'm sure it's still plowing snow somewhere. My next goal is to get a cab. I'm okay at 10 degrees F. and above on the open station, but the wind can change everything very quickly. Right now, it is mentally stressful figuring out how to get all the snow removed in the least amount of time. A heated cab would reduce the pressure and increase the fun.
1 - 5 of 5 Posts